Hampton stifles Pirates in 4-1 win


By John Perrotto Ross Ohlendorf and Mike Hampton both faced 23 batters Wednesday night at PNC Park in the Pirates‚Äô 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros. Ohlendorf, the Pirates‚Äô right-hander, threw the first pitch for strikes to 14 of those batters. Hampton, the Astros‚Äô left-hander, threw 17 first-pitch strikes. That might not seem like a big difference but Pirates manager John Russell felt it was the deciding factor in his team dropping back to .500 at 4-4 and the Astros snapping their five-game losing streak. ‚ÄúHampton got ahead of the hitters all night and put our guys on the defensive,‚Äù Russell said. ‚ÄúRoss was the opposite. He kept falling behind and running a lot of 3-2 counts and it‚Äôs tough to pitch effectively that way.‚Äù Ohlendorf used his two-seam fastball effectively in his first start of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals last Thursday as he allowed three runsRead More »